HD Expo 2019 Recap

My business manager Mike George and I attended the HD Expo in Las Vegas. It was a great experience as always to meet clients and see the latest industry trends. We are excited to use what we learned to expand our services, help our clients in the hospitality industry grow and keep up with customer demands and current design trends.

Wellness Tourism is getting hot

During the keynote presentation, “Wellness Today,” it was reported that Wellness Tourism (travel for promoting health and well-being through physical, psychological, or spiritual activities) grew from a $563 billion market in 2015 to $639 billion in 2017, a growth rate more than two times faster than tourism overall.   The industry is forecasted to grow even faster through 2022 – approaching a $1 trillion market.

The session was moderated by Stacy Shoemaker Rauen, Vice President, Hospitality Design Group, and Editor in Chief Hospitality Design Magazine. The fantastic panel was made up of Clodagh: Founder of Clodagh Design; Neil Jacob: CEO of Six Senses Hotels Resorts; Thomas Klein: President and COO of Canyon Ranch; and Jalolyn Fockler: Executive Vice President of Delos.

Hospitality Design – getting an emotional response

I learned that wellness means so many things to so many different people. In the hospitality design industry, we need to create environments that evoke positive emotions, promote balance, and aim for integrity and authenticity so that guests have the optimal “wellness” experience.  Designers need to be sensitive to every aspect, from lighting to acoustics.  The experts stress that wellness-centered designs need to be contextual, reflecting the history and environment of the area.

Hotel Projects Reach Record Highs

One of the main reasons I attend the HD Expo is to participate in the Town Hall/Owners’ Roundtable session. The Expo’s signature event is always sold-out and provides attendees with the opportunity to meet face-to-face with industry leaders representing some of the world’s most significant brand and ownership groups.  This year the session was moderated by Carl Long, President of the International Society of Hospitality Purchasers (ISHP). 

Here are a few bullet points of what we learned from the experts:

  • There are a record-high 6,352 hotels with 1,172,591 rooms currently under construction worldwide
  • Most projects are full renovations versus new construction
  • New boutique design firms are emerging due to the surge of hospitality projects
  • High growth areas are in New York, Dallas, Austin,
  • Design trends for chain hotels are shifting toward a more personalized and localized approach as opposed to the cookie cutter model of the past
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